Greg Milligan, Microsoft Canada’s Mobility Solutions Manager revealed at a recent Xbox 360 event that phone-to-Console gaming was coming over WiFi to Windows Phone 7. Milligan also suggested that an initial use would be companion-type games that bring enhancements to full XBox 360 titles and likely through WiFi only due to network speed sensitivities initially. With Xbox integration users will be able to play mini games on Windows Phone 7 handsets to unlock a level or a weapon or some special achievement on a console game. Of interest was the price range suggested by Greg in the $1.99 to $2.99 range, which is much lower than expected for Microsoft’s Xbox Live titles.
Of note also was that your game invites will show up as avatars of your friends on your tile, which is a pretty great feature; so, If a friend sends you a game request, his avatar will keep popping up on your Xbox Live tile on the home screen. Turn by Turn Multiplayer games will work via Xbox Live Silver. Other information include the lack of twitter integration, but that Microsoft was supporting multiple 3rd party clients. Milligan also mentioned that the Zune marketplace will not arrive in Canada this year, but Microsoft was aiming for a launch early next year. There were no comments regarding phone-to-console chat, sadly. He also suggested a price range of $1.99 to $2.99 for many mobile games, which is much lower than expected for Microsoft’s Xbox Live titles.
It’s tough to say how well the Windows Phone 7 will work as just a phone or personal information management tool when it ships in October, but when it comes to gaming, Microsoft’s already well ahead of Apple in terms of focusing, laser-like, on the platform’s gaming possibilities. With Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst and Halo: Waypoint in the mix, it’s clear Microsoft’s wisely planning to leverage its existing console IPs to at the very least make the phone immediately appealing to anyone with an Xbox 360.